HOUSTON (Reuters) - A member of Chevron Corp’s board of directors sent a tweet on Wednesday that questioned the future of the oil industry given the rise of renewable energy technologies.
“If #oil energy consumption is declining and #renewableenergy consumption is on the #rise, what does that mean for the future of the oil industry?” Dambisa Moyo, an economist and author who joined the oil company’s board in 2016, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning.
The tweet, deleted less than five hours after it was posted, was accompanied by two graphics produced by the financial television network CNBC. One showed oil consumption slipping from 2005 through 2015 and the other showed renewable energy consumption rising across the same period.
Chevron, Exxon Mobil Corp and other oil producers have come under increasing pressure to invest less in oil projects and more in solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies.
An active presence on Twitter with 189,000 followers, Moyo added several hashtags to her post that have been associated in the past with activists pushing for greater adoption of renewables by oil producers, including “#environment,” “#getsmarter” and “#happywarrior.”
Moyo could not be reached for additional comment.
Chevron said the tweet showed the diversity of thought amongst its leadership. “This simply demonstrates that Chevron’s board takes into account multiple points of view on the important topic of the future of energy,” Chevron spokesman Kent Robertson said in an emailed statement.
Moyo, who tweets under the handle @dambisamoyo, is also a board member of Barclays Plc and Barrick Gold Corp.
John Watson, who retired as Chevron’s chairman and chief executive earlier this month, told Reuters last fall that he did not see demand for oil peaking in the foreseeable future.
The view is widely shared in the oil industry and leaders of the world’s biggest oil companies are not buying the argument that their traditional business faces any imminent threat from climate change policies or renewable technologies.
Chevron reported a quarterly profit earlier this month that fell far short of Wall Street’s expectations, denting its stock price.
The International Energy Agency said earlier this month it expects global oil demand to rise 1.4 million barrels per day this year.
Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown